“What really matters is not whether we have problems, but how we go through them. We must keep going on to make it through whatever we are facing.” Rosa Parks
A lot of us are very uncomfortable about what is being reflected to us right now. Whether it’s the images on our TV screen, the words of a friend on Facebook, or witnessing with our very own eyes the way someone is being treated. What do you see? Can you really look at what you see very deeply without looking away? Can you feel the discomfort?
Do you see what is happening with Black Americans? Some of us, myself included, have turned a blind eye from what we are seeing for a very long time. Not because we didn’t think it was right, but maybe because we didn’t think that there was anything that WE could do. So we just looked the other way and maintained the status quo. That is a hard thing to admit.
I asked my daughter the other day if she felt that I have in any way raised her to be prejudiced. As a child, I remember moving out of a predominantly white neighborhood when a couple of black families moved in. Why? Because the value of the houses would go down. That’s what my parents said. That’s what everyone in the neighborhood said. It’s uncomfortable to even say that. That was just one instance of many that I could recount. As I raised my own children I did not want to create any prejudices in them, so I tried to be aware of my words and my actions. But every once in a while I would catch myself and some ingrained ignorant belief that was embedded in me would rear its ugly head and make me wince. There is a saying that I learned a long time ago: You do what you know, and when you know better, do better. So what can I do that’s better?
First of all- LOOK. I need to SEE what’s happening to Black Americans. I cannot turn my head because it’s uncomfortable. I believe that we must do better. That I must do better. We must acknowledge that our systems are broken and need to be changed.
“There are conversations you haven’t had, stories that need to be unraveled. And if we all do that in our backyard, in our office, in our families, have the difficult conversations, miracles happen.” Elizabeth Lesser
There are several questions that I am asking right now. What can I learn? What can I do? How can I change? Who can I have a conversation with? How can I listen better? How can I contribute to making positive changes? What is it that we are seeing? Is it protestors in the streets destroying property? Is it Black Americans dying? Is it both? Do you see anger? Fear? Desperation? Repression? Sadness? Grief?
ReConnectEd To Life was born from a desire for optimal health both personally and branching out to our community and the world. There is a reason our logo is what it is. Do you see the person in the middle of the logo with arms outstretched, branches connected, and being encompassed by the globe? When we raise the awareness of one and the health of one, we raise the awareness and health of all. We are interconnected. Self-care is not only about my health and well-being, but the health and well-being of the whole. When I am at my optimal health I have the clarity, the energy, and the strength to reconnect with my community and make changes for the better. This is what self-care is about.
So, as much as I see people dying, fires burning, enraged protestors, businesses struggling to reopen, and families that are deeply hurting, I also see hope. Hope in the face of people stepping up to say that things must change.
This is the most visual generation. They see. They are looking. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe that’s why they gravitate to Instagram. It’s this generation's way of saying words are not enough. Look. See? Now DO! Do something. Take steps to make changes. Make it better. We can do better. We can treat people better. We can treat ourselves better. We MUST treat ourselves better if we want to do better. We must do the work individually, and collectively.
This worldwide collective pause has forced us in many cases to see what we have often been unwilling to see. During these past few months, we have had more time than ever before to sit and be still. It’s in those moments of stillness that our call to action is whispered. Heed the whisper. YOU are the rock that creates the ripple. Right now take that deep breath. Find that stillness. Feed your body the nourishing food and thoughts that will give you the power to take that next step. Move your body so that you can harness the energy within. Then take another step. Rest. Support your brain health by allowing yourself the rest that it needs to clear out the toxins both environmentally and mentally. Then take another step. The powerful words of Martin Luther King Jr. come to mind. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
With Love and Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel